Pondering an entry-level electric car? Well, you'll be paying a grand more for it
By John Howell / Wednesday, December 15, 2021 / Loading comments
The Government’s Plug-in Car Grant (PiCG) has been tweaked for the second time this year. As you would expect, the change isn’t a positive one for anyone thinking of splashing out on a new EV. When the PiCG was introduced in 2010, it offered a £3,500 grant on every new electric car (EV) sold. Later that was reduced to £3,000 with a £50,000 cap, and in March 2021 it went down to £2,500 with a £35,000 limit. Now it’s just £1,500 with a £32,000 limit.
In her statement to the House of Commons, under-secretary of state for transport, Trudy Harrison, said “it is right that we seek to focus the grants, which are funded by the taxpayer, on the areas where they will have the most impact and where the market still needs government support.”
According to the Government’s figures, over £1.5 billion has been spent on the PiCG scheme since its inception. Last year, it announced a further £582 million to fund the scheme until 2023 – it says that remains in place. The funding has worked, because there are now over half-a-million EVs on the UK’s roads, with more than 150,000 sold this year to date. It means that 1 in 10 new cars sold in the UK is now an EV.
Question is, will that continue with the reduced grant and the restricted list of cars that now qualify for it? A quick round-up of the EVs available for £32,000 or less includes: Honda-e, Mazda MX-30, MG 5 and ZS, Mini Electric, Nissan Leaf, Peugeot e-208, Renault Zoe, Vauxhall Corsa Electric, Seat Mii, Smart ForTwo and ForFour, and the Volkswagen Up Electric. Many of those cars only offer a modest range compared to larger, pricier stuff – more than one will struggle to do 100 miles in the real world.
Wheelchair accessible vehicles are still being supported with the £2,500 grant for vehicles less than £35,000. Small vans will also receive £2,500, and large vans £5,000 – this is restricted to a maximum of 1,000 grants per business per year. There will be no changes for small or large trucks, which receive £16,000 and £25,000 respectively.
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